Should You Stay at a Hotel or a Bed and Breakfast?
When preparing to travel to a new destination, one of the first steps you will need to take is to decide on a place to stay. While your first inclination might be to research the hotels in the area, an option you might not have considered is a bed and breakfast. Bed and breakfasts (or B&Bs) are a great option for certain types of travelers and could provide you with just the environment you’re looking for. For others, B&Bs might not suit their personality. So what exactly are the differences and which one is right for you?
Most everyone will stay at many hotels during a lifetime, so you’re probably familiar with most of the amenities you can expect to find there. Among other things, you’ll probably be used to daily maid service, either two double beds or one queen sized bed in the room, and a fairly standard room layout. Many hotels also have amenities on their premises like a swimming pool, a hot tub, and a fitness center. When dealing with a hotel, there is usually little risk involved as the hotel probably hosts thousands of guests per month and most of the operating procedures are relatively routine.
At a bed and breakfast, you will likely find a house or other residential building whose rooms have been converted into individual guest rooms or suites. Often the proprietor(s) will live on the property and be responsible for everything about its upkeep. The set up for each individual B&B will vary more widely than hotels, so be sure to do some research into every aspect of the setup. You will want to find out, for instance, if each room has a private bathroom or if you’ll be sharing. There will often also be several different categories of rooms at a B&B with multiple bedrooms, so choose the one that best suits you. Amenities that are more unique to a B&B might include such things as fresh flowers in the guest rooms, afternoon wine tastings, and homemade cookies or other treats. Usually a breakfast will be provided to all guests each morning (hence the name bed and breakfast), and sometimes these can be quite extraordinary.
In exchange for some of the amenities you might gain from a bed and breakfast, you will also likely give up a few of the amenities standard at hotels. While your B&B might offer maid service, for instance, it is unlikely to be a daily occurrence at many. Instead, you may be expected to keep your room in order for a few days or for the whole length of your stay. In certain climates, pools and hot tubs might still be common, but in others they likely won’t be standard. The whole experience of a bed and breakfast is intended to feel less “corporate” than dealing with a hotel, so expect more of a “home away from home” setup. You will likely need to be a little more thorough in your research when choosing a B&B than might be necessary in choosing a hotel to make sure the place you end up is the right choice.
In terms of pricing, expect a B&B to be slightly more expensive than most mid-level hotels. You may still find a B&B to be cheaper than a luxury hotel, but often not by that much. In addition to paying more for the extra personal amenities, you need to remember that a B&B likely has much higher overhead costs per guest than a hotel would.
Bed and breakfasts are often quieter and more laid back than most hotels. A B&B can be a great option, especially if you want to stay someplace with some character and local flavor. If you want your place of lodging to be somewhere that you can wind down at the end of the night to complement a vacation full of exciting day trips, for instance, a B&B might be perfect for you. If you picture yourself soaking up the vacation experience by the pool without having to worry about any of the responsibilities of home, you might find you’re better off at a hotel.
Article From Inter Valley Health Plan